MTN News: Malmstrom officer chosen to serve on Daines’ staff

GREAT FALLS –U.S. Senator Steve Daines announced on Wednesday that Air Force Major Benji L. Johnson has been selected to serve as a Military Fellow in Daines’ Washington, D.C. office through 2016. 

The Air Force Fellowship Program offers participants the opportunity to work in the legislative branch of the federal government for one session of Congress. 

Johnson most recently served as the assistant director of operations for ICBM codes for the 341st Operations Support Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base.

In a press release, Daines said, “Major Johnson’s extensive experience will be an asset to our office’s efforts to best serve Montana’s military members and our continued work to support our nation’s security needs.”

“It’s an honor to have this opportunity to help Senator Daines serve the people of Montana,” said Johnson. “As a member of the Air Force, serving our nation has long been my focus. I look forward to using my expertise and my role as an Air Force Fellow to continue that work on behalf of the people of Montana.”

Johnson is a University of North Dakota graduate and was commissioned through Officer Training School in 2003. 

He spent five years as an enlisted computer maintenance and switching systems technician working on communications equipment to support the 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Missile Wing. After commissioning, he spent two years as a Communications Officer at Ellsworth AFB, where he supported the 28th Bomb Wing’s B-1 aircraft. 

Information from the Air Force Fellows website:

What is a Fellow?  

Every year, the Air Force chooses an elite cadre of officers and civilians to serve 10- to 18-month tours within DOD, other government agencies, or distinguished civilian institutions.  Institutions are selected based on prominence in security affairs and ability to provide spectrum of views. Fellows serve as resident members of institutions’ faculty/staff and DoD Agency Staff.

How do I become one?  

Typically, officers are assigned via the DEDB based on military records, academic credentials and potential for senior staff/command duty.  Interested officers should include specific school preferences on their ADP and ensure a strong commander endorsement.  For non-DEDB programs, officers are selected via an application process.  Go to the applicable link to the left for more information.

Research and curriculum:  

All Fellows will conduct research during their tour on an area of personal interest or something related to their fellowship.  This research will culminate with a 5,000-word paper supervised by a sponsor and a mentor.  For Fellows attending a university, a school research paper may be submitted to fulfill this requirement.